The Motorious beta is now available to all users.  Learn more about what this means.

How Does The VW Rallye Golf Stack Up On Snow After 29 Years?

By Elliot Wood Jan 17, 2019
news
Shop Sports
By Elliot Wood Jan 17, 2019
Think old school German four-wheel-drive rally fun starts and ends with the Audi Quattro? We present the VW Rallye Golf

Some people’s idea of nostalgia is movies, high school lovers and music. For others it is road testing a 1990 Volkswagen Rallye Gold Syncro AWD on snow, to see if it feels different after over 25 years of having not driven one with force, and then putting the results on YouTube. Beware, the results are quite technical. But still more fun than your average dollop of rose-tinted nostalgia.

Tim O’Neil, who competed in the SCCA ProRally series with a Group A Golf in-period and now has his own rally school, has hopped back in the driver's seat for a refresher. Unfortunately for O'Neil, his first impressions are a bit of a shocker – it feels like a front-wheel drive vehicle.

As he gets harder on the gas though, the front wheels start to spin and it tends to lock the rears. The complexities of the all-wheel drive system, despite being nearly three decades old, are evident.

Different approaches to the use of throttle and brakes lead to drastically different outcomes, and it turns out the VW (just about) supports left foot braking for continued power.

View in gallery
View 13+
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View
["VW Rallye Golf"]
View 13+
'

Having a amble foot when using the throttle is a huge benefit in these circumstances. Each time the front loses grip, the rear comes to assistance. You have to anticipate it while in the driving seat, with there being a slight delay, but it shouldn’t be an issue as long as you’re good at tap dancing with the brakes.

With this being a rally-honed machine, you’d expect the handbrake to work for more than just parking on slopes, but it appears it does little to help get the car turned in. Thankfully, being in a snowy setting, there's nothing to hit, although O’Neil and colleague Chris Rennie are both wearing helmets for safety’s sake.

O’Neil goes so far as to claim his Golf Rallye is faster than an Audi Quattro, the car that famously pioneered the use of traction at all four wheels, ‘because it actually turned’, unlike the Quattro. To tune in the Golf to the needs of certain drivers and surfaces, the transmission, rear differential and axles could also be changed, improving it even more.

O’Neil ends the video by summarising the 29,600km model as being ‘fun, interesting and old school. And I like that. It’s old and funky, but fun to drive. You’ve got to figure how to get the most out of them.’


Related articles

Watch Brett Favre Drive Peyton Manning In A C2 Corvette

Football season is in full swing, so mix that together with cool cars for more fun. Watching two legendary NFL quar...
By Steven Symes Sep 19, 2019

2017 Ford GT ʼ66 Heritage Edition Heads To Auction Block

Lucky Barrett-Jackson bidders get a chance at this No Reserve supercar! A stunning low-mileage 2017 Ford GT ’66 Her...
By Elizabeth Puckett Sep 19, 2019

Lowered 1970 Ford F-100 Ranger Looks Sinister

This 4x2 F-100 has the perfect stance. Pickup trucks were designed primarily to get work done, but over the years, F...
By Jeffrey N. Ross Sep 18, 2019

Lightly Modded 1981 Chevrolet K-10 Is Riding High

A six-inch lift looks great on this square-body Chevy. GM's square-body pickups have been increasingly popular among...
By Jeffrey N. Ross Sep 18, 2019
Show Me More

URL copied to clipboard